The first Venezuelan native inducted into the Hall of Fame was also the first Rookie of the Year to wear a Chicago White Sox uniform.
Luis Aparacio debuted at Comiskey Park in game one of the 1956 season with a single and he never looked back.
Aparacio won the Rookie of the Year vote with 22 of the 24 available first-place votes. The other two votes went to Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians and Tito Francona of the Baltimore Orioles. In the NL, all 24 votes went to Frank Robinson.
The 5’9 Aparacio was a phenom in his rookie season – and throughout his career. That first year with the Sox, he played in 152 games with 583 plate appearances. He wasn’t much of a home run hitter, but that’s ok.
Aparacio could run, and he led the league as a rookie in stolen bases with 21. He bested that number every year until 1967 at age 32, when he stole 18. In 1959, he stole a career-high and league-high 56 bases.
He had several other notable stats. “Little Louie” walked 34 times and struck out 63. His slash that first season was .266/.311/.341.
Compare that to Ohtani’s stats in 2018. He played in 93 games and stole 10 bases. Granted, he was pitching in some of those games. He walked 37 times and struck out 102 times – and hit 22 home runs. His rookie slash was .285/.361/.564.
Aparacio is in well-deserved elite company. Only five AL Rookie of the Year winners have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. He shares this honor with Rod Carew of the Twins, Carlton Fisk of the Red Sox (and White Sox for short time), Eddie Murray of the Orioles, and Cal Ripkin, Jr of the Orioles.